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Here's Why The Northman's Credits Thank Three Legendary Directors

The next feature of Robert Eggers — writer-director of 2015's "The Witch" and 2019's "The Lighthouse" — is mere days away from premiering in theaters. 

Based on the legend of Amleth, "The Northman" — which Eggers co-wrote with Sjón — follows a Viking warrior prince named Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård), who sets out to avenge the death of his father, King Aurvandill (Ethan Hawke), and save his mother, Queen Gudrún (Nicole Kidman). To do both of these things, Amleth must kill his uncle, Fjölnir the Brotherless (Claes Bang). The film also stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe and Kate Dickie (all of whom have worked with Eggers on one of his two previous films). "The Northman" is slated to premiere in U.S. theaters this weekend, on April 22, which means that many critics have already seen "The Northman" ahead of time, and in short, they are loving it — as demonstrated by the film currently holding an 89% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Not only do critics' early viewings give us a taste of how good we can expect the film to be, but we've also learned ahead of time that there is an interesting detail in the credits: three legendary directors — Ari Aster ("Hereditary," "Midsommar"), Chris Columbus ("Home Alone," "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"), and Alfonso Cuarón ("Gravity," "Roma") — are thanked. In an interview with Collider, Eggers revealed why these three earned the special shoutout.

The three directors gave Eggers notes on the film

In an in-depth discussion with Collider, Robert Eggers delves into all things "The Northman," from the biggest challenges to what the editing process was like. Collider writer Steve Weintraub also wanted to know the reasoning behind the decision to thank three directors — Ari Aster, Chris Columbus, and Alfonso Cuarón — in the film's credits. 

Eggers' answer is a simple one. He responded, "They all saw the film at some point and gave me notes and support."

Not only did Columbus give Eggers personal notes, though — he has also praised Eggers publicly. When New Yorker writer Sam Knight profiled Eggers last month, he spoke with Columbus (who was a producer for both "The Witch" and "The Lighthouse"), who had nothing but kind things to say about Eggers. Columbus told the New Yorker, "I've never seen such detailed storyboards from a director, ever. You know, ninety per cent of directors don't do their own storyboards ... His storyboards were precise, almost Hitchcockian."

Cuarón has also spoke to the New Yorker about being a fan of Eggers and, specifically, "The Northman." In the same profiler, Cuarón said, "Every single frame is charged with all the thematic elements of the whole film. I have to say, it is very complex, it is very complicated what he does."

When "The Northman" opens in theaters on April 22, 2022, movie fans can see for themselves what these legendary directors are raving about.